Man found guilty of robbing Kennett convenience store

Man found guilty of robbing Kennett convenience store

KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - A man was found guilty of robbing a convenience store in Kennett, Missouri in July 2015.

Julius L. Jones, 36, was found guilty of one felony count of interference with commerce by robbery and one felony count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

He was found guilty after a two-day jury trial.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, trial testimony established that around 10 p.m. on July 1, 2015, two men entered Curt's Grocery in Kennett carrying handguns and wearing ski masks.

As soon as they entered, court documents state the two men began shooting at the store manager. The manager was hit four times and fell to the floor.

One of the men then took money from the manager's pockets while the second man, identified as Julius Lamont Jones, threw a cashier to the floor and demanded the store's money.

The cashier gave Jones two bank bags containing the store's cash. As they left, Jones allegedly fired a shot at the cashier, narrowly missing her.

The two men are also accused of shooting at, but missing, a customer on the store parking lot.

A witness saw the two men leave in a silver or gray Toyota and called the police.

A Kennett officer responding to the scene met the silver Toyota heading north on the South Bypass Road near  Kennett. The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but it left at a high rate of speed, eventually reaching speeds exceeding 120 miles per hour.

According to court documents, the people in the car began shooting at the officer and other officers who joined in the chase. Eventually, the Toyota crashed in a muddy field in Blytheville, Arkansas and the three men ran from the vehicle.

Officers chased after the men and captured Antonio Brown, the getaway driver, hiding in the bushes near the crash scene. Just after the vehicle crash, a citizen reported that he had seen a person running near the scene of the crash and get in a yellow Cadillac Escalade.

The caller reported the license plate number of the Escalade, which checked to the defendant, Julius Jones.

Shortly thereafter, the officers saw the Escalade near Osceola and stopped the car.

The passenger was identified as Julius Jones.

The Escalade was searched and a green bank bag taken from the robbery was recovered containing $1,763 in cash.

From the wrecked Toyota Camry, officers recovered a bank bag containing $350 and a pistol and shotgun, all allegedly taken during the robbery.

A ski mask was also reportedly found in the front passenger area of the Toyota. Court documents stated the ski mask contained Jones' DNA.

The jury deliberated for about 45 minutes before finding Jones guilty on both counts.

Jones now faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing has been set for May 15.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kennett Police Department, the Blytheville Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Mississippi County Sheriff's Office and the Osceola Police Department.

Assistant United States Keith D. Sorrell and Sara Koppenaal handled the prosecution for the government.

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